Leyton Orient 0 – 1 Sheffield United
npower League 1
NICK BLACKMAN’S second half stunner was enough to give unbeaten Sheffield United a 1-0 victory over the O’s at Brisbane Road on Saturday.
In another tight game in E10, the O’s found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreline for the second week in a row.
There was little to chose between the sides, but the Blades restricted the O’s well, with only Kevin Lisbie really coming close to scoring with a second half header that George Long saved.
To add to Orient’s frustration, Lisbie limped off with a hamstring injury late on, while Ben Chorley picked up his fifth booking of the campaign and a one-game suspension.
Sheffield United were forced into an early change when goalkeeper Mark Howard went down injured. He needed to be stretchered off and 18-year-old George Long was his replacement.
That turned out to be the most noteworthy event of a forgettable first half in which neither team were able to build up a head of steam.
It wasn’t until the 25th minute that a shot on goal was registered, and then it was a weak one as Ryan Allsop easily gathered Tony McMahon’s long range effort.
For the O’s, their best moment came in the 37th minute when Dean Cox delivered a corner and Ben Chorley headed goalwards, but there were a lot of bodies between the home defender and the target and his attempt was blocked.
Paul Gallagher shot wide from range at the other end, but 0-0 was the correct scoreline at the end of a dull opening 45 minutes.
The early exchanges of the second half looked to be going the same way too with the 4,882 in attendance rarely having much to get excited about.
When the deadlock was broken, one minute before the hour, it came from a moment of real quality as Blackman took aim from 25 yards and found the bottom left corner of Ryan Allsop’s net with real precision.
They then went close to a second on 68 when Ryan Flynn beat Gary Sawyer down the right and cut back for Michael Doyle, whose shot was blocked by Allsop’s legs.
At the other end sub keeper Long made an excellent save to deny Kevin Lisbie, who looked set to score when Lee Cook delivered from the left, but Long got across his goal excellently to keep the ball out.
Cook was inches away with a free kick himself, but there was no route back for the O’s as they fell to a second straight home defeat.
Leyton Orient: Allsop; McSweeney, Clarke, Chorley, Saywer; Rowlands (James 81); Cox, Smith (Symes 46), Griffith, Cook; Lisbie (Brunt 78)
Subs: Baudry, Laird, Odubajo, Mooney
Booked: Saywer, Cook, Chorley
Sheffield United: Howard (Long 11); McMahon, Maguire, Hill, ; Flynn, McDonald, Doyle, Gallagher; Kitson (Porter 83), Blackman (Cresswell 83)
Subs: Westlake, Miller, McAllister, McFadzean
Goal: Blackman 59
Referee: David Phillips
Attendance: 4,882 (1,253 away)